The Short Film Market: Bright Future, Be Patient
Last week, when AtomShockwave seemed to be reporting bad news everyday, Hypnotic, the Internet-based short film licensor and developer backed by Vivendi Universal, announced its acquisition of Nibblebox, plus, an additional $15 million in financing.
This is good. Investors continue to see potential for short films and animations in the face of negative news. On Wall Street, that's a sign that the market has "bottomed."
Frankly, investors should feel confident about short films. Similar to the music industry, lower production costs have resulted in more productions, more producers and more choices for consumers. The problem, until very recently, has been distribution. (How many times have we heard that?)
But companies like AtomShockwave, Hypnotic and Alwaysi have demonstrated how distribution is often a matter of creative thinking. They don't broadcast over the Net exclusively. You can also find their short films on United Airlines airplanes, TiVo personal video recorders, Greyhound buses and Sundry handheld devices, too.
Soon, these productions will be featured more prevalently alongside the previews you see at your local movie theater. You'll find them on your favorite DVDs as well.
This kind of distribution will flourish as the Internet matures. Captive audiences are literally all over the place. On airplanes, taxis, buses and elevators; at bus stops, gas stations, checkout lines; the list goes on. Clearly, Muzak understands this concept.
In the last year or so, Ford, Mitsubishi Motors and BMW have all financed short films to build their respective brands. Who knows where this trend will lead us? In a wireless broadband world, Budweiser might debut the next "True" commercial on flat-screen monitors in the cold beverage section at your neighborhood Safeway.
It's a natural fit for those who produce short films. Quick, low-budget productions financed by product placements, or just bundled - like software - for value-added retail purposes.
People say they don't like to be constantly flooded with ads and entertainment, but our actions tell a very different story. We gaze at the hot babe on the cover of a magazine while we're waiting in line at the grocery store. We glance at the posters and the billboards for the next Hollywood blockbuster, even while we're driving.
People say they don't like Reality TV but... Well, you get the point. If you're a filmmaker, consider the short market.
Alwaysi - www.alwasyi.com
AtomShockwave - www.atomshockwave.com
Hypnotic - www.hypnotic.com
Muzak - www.muzak.com
Nibblebox - www.nibblebox.com
Vivendi Universal - www.vivendi.com
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